Does Valve Index Need Two Base Stations?

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By Ralph Torres

If you’re considering purchasing a Valve Index VR headset, you may be wondering whether you really need two base stations. The answer is yes, and in this article, we’ll explore why.

What are Base Stations?

Before diving into the question of whether or not you need two base stations for the Valve Index, let’s first define what base stations are. Base stations are devices that emit infrared light signals that are picked up by sensors on the VR headset and controllers. These signals allow the system to track the user’s movements and position in real-time.

One vs. Two Base Stations

The Valve Index VR headset comes with two base stations, but some users may be tempted to try using only one to save money or setup time. However, there are several reasons why this is not recommended.

Greater Tracking Coverage

Using two base stations allows for greater tracking coverage of the space in which you’re using the VR system. With only one base station, there will likely be areas where your movements are not tracked as accurately or at all. This can result in a less immersive experience and even cause motion sickness for some users.

Improved Tracking Accuracy

Two base stations also improve tracking accuracy by reducing occlusion. Occlusion occurs when an object or part of your body blocks the infrared signals from reaching the sensors on your headset or controllers. With two base stations placed diagonally across from each other, occlusion is minimized because there is always at least one line-of-sight path between each sensor and a base station.

Multiplayer Compatibility

If you plan on using your Valve Index for multiplayer games or experiences, having two base stations is essential. Each player will need their own set of sensors to ensure accurate tracking of their movements and position within the virtual space.

Setting Up Two Base Stations

Setting up two base stations for the Valve Index is a relatively simple process. The base stations should be placed diagonally across from each other in opposite corners of your play area. They should be mounted securely to a wall or tripod at a height of at least six feet and angled downward at a 45-degree angle.


In conclusion, if you want the best possible VR experience with your Valve Index headset, it’s highly recommended that you use two base stations. They provide greater tracking coverage, improved tracking accuracy, and are essential for multiplayer compatibility. With proper setup, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the virtual world without any frustrating tracking issues.